crank, that really is a good idea. And I'd use it.
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A safe stopping place? - Page 4post #91 of 971/7/11 at 5:36pmpost #92 of 971/9/11 at 5:34pm
I didn't take time to read this whole thread but...you can stop wherever you want as long as it's not directly in front of me on a dime while I'm skiing. If I trust myself enough to straightline (shoulder width barely) between two trees off a small cliff band then I'm 100% confident I can go around you without hitting you. If you get scared because room is limited on the trail and I'm forced to zip by close to you then I have no time for your complaints anyway; stop yelling at me and get back on your cellphone about that meeting you need to be at tomorrow.post #93 of 971/9/11 at 5:37pmpost #94 of 971/16/11 at 11:57am
Last Saturday skied at Sierra-At-Tahoe. Sometime before 10am, I skied from the base area down intermediate groomed Marmot towards the West Bowl Express chair where I would be yoyoing bumps on Horsetail the rest of the morning. At the bottom of the Marmot slope, the run enters a short section of moderately narrow road that traverses around steeper slopes at the resort boundaries before joining the Beaver run that routes to the chair. With just a few people on Marmot at that early time, I played with some medium radius turns and reached the road section. The downhill edge side of the road drops off abruptly into an area with numbers of small fir trees.
As I was just a bit right of road center making a lazy turn towards the right edge, suddenly heard someone scream, run over the top of my old skis, and fly out crashing into the small firs in a cloud of loose powder snow. Stopped and noticed the twentysomething snowboarder who never said anything seemed to be ok while working to get back up on his feet. Looking down to him, said something to him about not going through such narrow sections at high speed with someone else below on such a road because one cannot count on what the person ahead might do. He had apparently expected to pass me on my right and that was not a wise gamble.post #95 of 971/16/11 at 9:18pm
I ski very defensively, always on the look out for myself twenty-five years ago. I look over my shoulder a half dozen times down every run, even though I am rarely overtaken, just out of habit. That also means never ever stopping below a knee for a hundred yards. If someone falls in such a place they should get the heck out of there as quickly as possible, grab the skis and get downslope even if you have to slide on your butt.
Knees with steep downslopes are very tempting for catching high speed air. We have a nice wide blue run with a great knee and line of sight from above to the run out. As teenagers we used to count the skiers as they disappeared over the edge, and then came into view in the runout, usually within the minute. This only worked if there were not more than a half dozen or so skiers on the slope. Then we thought we could take a run at it.
Ironically, we only fell afoul when a group of patrollers decided to hold a meeting below the knee and were there for at least 5 minutes, unknown to us. I don't know what they were thinking -- maybe they thought it was a trap, as we use to play cat and mice with them. But we came very close to disaster, and we are simply lucky that no-one was seriously hurt. The four of us tucked the upper slope one at a time and caught decent air off the knee. They must have just started skiing again, as there they were, a half dozen in some strange slow moving formation that took up the whole slope. The moment I landed I carved hard left, straining to get around the last patroller. I used every fiber to get around him, stepping and then shifting my whole body as if he was a gate, but couldn't get my right hand around as well. Caught the guy on the elbow with my thumb and he went down like a bowling pin. Fortunately this opened a slot for everyone else to get through. They were very, very angry, but no one was hurt, and we skulked off before they gathered their gear and came after us. We had to lay low for awhile after that and swap jackets.
So we all lucked out and I will say that we learned our lesson and always posted a lookout after that. But I am also deeply conscious that some other stupid teenagers will be doing what we did, or worse, and never assume that I will be seen before its too late. I think many teenagers just don't get it -- we were willing to risk our own lives, but it never really sunk in that we were risking others lives too. I think its really hard to teach that. Unfortunately, just like in driving, we often don't learn to be aware that you are a risk to others until a dangerous mistake is made. So when I see someone hanging out in a bad place I try to yell from the chair or whatever. They probably think I'm just a crazy but it is one of the few things that gets me riled up. As for the stupid teenager, well, good luck yelling at him.post #96 of 971/16/11 at 9:37pm
Yeah ok I'll take the bait.
If you had hit him it would have really sucked, and it would have been your fault. Try to imagine it, your ski edges slashing across his face, or for all you know, maybe it would have been a disoriented little girl who you disfigured for life. It happens. To the most skilled.
Was the boarder your spotter? If so he didn't do a very good job.
That's a really flat landing. Can't you find something that doesn't drop onto the run?post #97 of 972/10/11 at 1:00pm
This is why I finally bought a helmet. Gaper here (if you consider learners gapers) and sometimes when trying something different I get jerky (not jerk-like, I hope)--and some hot-shot tearing straight down the easy blue slope brushes by me at incalculable speed. This happened during a lesson and my instructor half-seriously suggested swinging my poles a little while doing drills because even the crazies don't like getting hurt.
These days I avoid stopping at the top of a knee or downhill edge of a track, or just below it; it's just asking for trouble to do anything but ski there. I look for L's on the course where I can rest on the outside of the turn, and do periodic head-checks even when I'm skiing well or at some speed if I've just left a crowded area where a frustrated expert (or rude kid) got bottled up.
Mid-week skiing is the bomb. Although recently I rode the lift with a telly skier who bragged about having burst out of the trees onto a groomer and hit a guy in mid-flight. Banged up both of them but he said it was OK because he bought the guy a beer. I pointed out that he outweighed me by about 80 lbs and would have put me in the hospital. Back in the day, we telemarketers at Alta were civil!
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